TIMOTHY NAFTALI, “DEMYSTIFYING JFK” | OCTOBER 6, 2015
When the New York Times Book Review chose the title “The Elusive President” to introduce a discussion of the most recent crop of books on John F. Kennedy, it may have come as a surprise to some that that there is still so much in dispute and unknown about this most investigated and written about a person. The co-author of two books detailing aspects of JFK’s career, and an editor of his famous tapes, Tim Naftali is completing a biography for Norton that looks at the entire presidency in light of newly available documents, oral histories and tapes. Naftali finds a Kennedy who is more pragmatic and political than his inner circle acknowledged and more skeptical of the Cold War and American power than revisionist critics ever realized. And, as Naftali also discovered, JFK’s elusiveness was not accidental. In his talk, Naftali will explain how Kennedy, his family and his closest literary allies helped to cultivate the mysteries that would long bedevil biographers. Lecture by Tim Naftali, presidential scholar, author, history professor, and television commentator.